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December 8, 2013
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Daring don’t I deem a drudgery.

This episode seems to have an identity issue. The semblance of simple minded action story is there, much like the Indiana Jones’ movies it takes inspiration from, but this episode has a critical issue with who it focuses on and the story it tries to tell.

Indiana is always the protagonist of his own movies, because everything revolves around him, the story and action is from his perspective or built around him. Daring don’t has the story and acton revolve about Daring Doo, but has Rainbow Dash be the main character.

It wants to tell both a simple fun action story, but also it want to tell a story about a fangirl’s self importance issues. The two types of story are oddly meshed together, with Dash (and rest of the M6) acting as just observers to the main story almost all the way until the end. It makes our protagonist a supporting character to her own story.

Rainbow Dash’s fangirl angle is pushed really hard this episode. It’s a flanderization of her character and makes her come across as a bit of a 5 year old. This combined with her little involvement in the actual plot, reduces the impact of her arc.

Also, speaking of the actual main character, Daring Doo being an actual person really strains my suspension of disbelief and she seems to be just the awesome action hero of her stories. She is shown as being without fault or risk; She hurts her leg but that’s forgotten, she gets captured but that was her plan all along and she’s so competent and independent. Her main fault seems to be that she is a jerk but that is for her own reasons (but keeping secrets when you publish all your adventures is kinda contradictory). Which all in all, makes Daring Doo not much of an interesting or deep character, which also hurts my engagement in her main story.

I was surprised to hear this was another Dave Polsky episode, because this story doesn't have much of his crude humour that usually undermines everything, it actually is just a lot of talking and action which is an improvement I guess. The story doesn't fit that well together though. The meaning in RD’s fangirl breakdown is undermined by the more action oriented story it’s built around and that main action story isn't that great either. It tries to do two things at once and fails at both, it makes the whole thing pretty forgettable.
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:iconandymanx:
AndyManX Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013
The fangirl plot and the action plot are plots A and B in this story. The B plot isn't so much important, as it's a spin on the lesson learned in Applebuck Season (character is too stubborn to get some help, but learns how to put her trust into someone else). The A plot about Dash's confidence issues shines pretty well imo. We've seen her have issues keeping her fangirling under control (Best Night Ever) and we've seen that her self-esteem issues can hurt her judgement and performance (Sonic Rainboom). This episode decides to throw all of that back at Rainbow, but with her other idol, Daring Do. Why DD? If we did this story with the Wonderbolts again, it would feel like a step backwards, as Rainbow has shown to be confident around them in Wonderbolts Academy. So, this is at least logical.

I'll concede that most of the main cast didn't need to be here. The reason they are is for support in the final confrontation, but besides that they have no place (Rarity and Fluttershy especially). Twilight made sense, as she both knows about the Daring Do series and therefore can help, and she acts as a foil to Rainbow's fangirling.

As for the concept itself, I'm chocking that up to Dave Polsky being the writer. He's always had bizarre episodes, and this concept is pretty out there. At the very least, nothing really said that Daring Do couldn't be a real pony; everyone (Twilight and Rainbow included) just assumed that she was fictional. I kind of thought they were going to do something like this, but it's still a weird concept. Not a deal breaker, but still weird.
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:iconbyter75:
byter75 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013
A externally consistent story doesn't make for an internally consistent one. Her fangirling was established, just not to this proportions or as single mindedly as this episode, the episode showing things we already have seen in exaggerated way is clunky and patronizing rather reaffirming. Also note that her main arc is so short, it is raised at the offering hat scene, and then it's resolved next scene. The core dilemma of the story was started and ended within a minute, I know she's had anxiety before, but that doesn't excuse the internal presentation of this arc, it being around over the scope of a min is not a good story.
Or in other words having external justifications for something doesn't excuse the internal problems with exaggerating her character and padding the episode out tlll the 14min mark to only resolve the whole thing within a min. A thing might be part of a character, but that thing is still within reasonable boundaries. Dash might be a fangirl, and anxious at times but this episode turned that attribute up too crazy (aka unreasonable) levels. And at this level. It's not logical.

The whole separation of plots into A & B is not well handled. Both plots come out as rather hollow and all the characters are just scrabbling for time and reasons to be on screen. The rest of the M6 are certainly the least needed, but all of this is just a mess, none of them were needed.

"nothing really said that Daring Do couldn't be a real pony" So? Absence of evidence doesn't make a case for evidence of presence. Isn't that an argument from ignorance? Isn't that what Mr.E argued?
I think the crux of it is that she seemed to be a fictional character. She was the fictional character to fictional characters. Her world an exaggeration of an already exaggerated world. When she turns out to be real, this really strains my suspension of disbelief and trust in the author.
The issues here isn't with evidence (a la the argument from ignorance) but an issue with tone. The tone that Daring being real sets is really weird and disjointed. She felt like a fictional character in the tone of stories past, now she is, we feel like the new direction is contrived and stupid (because it is).
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:iconandymanx:
AndyManX Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013
I chock up the unreasonable actions by Dash to the shock of having her cherished fictional character suddenly be real, but the internal conflict she does encounter is resolved a bit too quickly. I think the problem is that the B plot of this episode (and Flight to the Finish) are becoming a little too prominent; the Daring Do action and the back and forth with RD and Harshwhinny could have both been dialed back to allow for the main character conflict to develop further. The show wants to teach a few different things by utilizing minor characters, and that's fine and all, but it's not handling them pretty well, and focusing a bit too much on them prevents the main conflict from starting up.

I can't seem to find a way to counter the problem with making DD real, besides the option of trading one weakness for another. Like I said before, if this story were done with the Wonderbolts, it would be a step back for RD as a character, as she's shown to be confident around them already. Using DD makes sense, and this, I think, is the only way they could have RD reasonably interact with her. So it's either tread old ground, or have a contrivance. It's a dilemma, and at the very least, I enjoyed the contrivance, bizarre as it was.

Personally, I think it would have been cool if they stuck with what the original synopsis and motivations said the episode would be about: Rainbow (and Twilight) going to help the author finish her story. That would have led to some interesting interactions (maybe more fan debates between RD and TS) and some of Rainbow trying her best to put her own novel ideas into the story. We could have had the same moral: don't objectify your idols; treat them like people. We also could have actually went somewhere with the respect for privacy lines that Twilight was making. I think in that scenario, Polsky's usual wackiness would have shined through a bit more.

Then, at the end, at the very least, we could have gotten a little glimpse to allude to the author possibly being DD, but only after all is said and done. Maybe Dash stumbles upon the hat and jacket before leaving, and makes a connection. It would have been a bit more subtle and left it in ambiguity. I'm just speculating now, though.
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:iconbyter75:
byter75 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013
The show does have a lot of hubris with its failing main and side plots, it really needs to go back to its simple roots where it has to work to establish everything on the stage properly before it begins to play with them. As it is. There's bits of character hanging all over the place and no focus on any of them, which doesn't make for a very good play.

Why not be creative, think outside the box?
Making DD real or relying on the Wonderbolts is insular thinking (and what DigiCurious proposed). A.K.Yearling could have been a whole new character with her own setting and backstory. Imagine the possibility if we remove our fan goggles and start creating a larger universe! They could go to a small hamlet and the author could be a rather introverted people pony who helps the people around town with their inventing business. The people around her and her helping them make inventions could've all been reflected in her Daring Doo books. By having her be an actual author the show can do a commentary on creativity and writing skill. That it requires one to be open to new ideas and to put in a hard days work. The way RD or whomever reacts to the situation is the story in and of itself. We don't need to be so focused on our end conclusions because our conclusions are derived from our journeys, not the other way round.

Ugh I don't want any more Polsky wackiness. I dislike how he's come to define S3 & S4. But yeh the origonal premise would've been interesting... shame it was Polsky taking the lazy route out ofc.

Ugh. Lets not connect all the dots! Daring Doo doesn't need to be real. Alluding to the unexpected is way more interesting than the obvious. I want to have a last second glance at a suit of armour or some arcane magical artifact, now that'd be interesting.
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:iconandymanx:
AndyManX Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013
Alright, I'll stop hyping on Daring Do being real. Let's focus on A.K. Yearling.

That... that is actually an interesting premise you put forth. It was rather odd to make her live in a random hut in the middle of the woods. Quickly bringing up Indiana Jones, at least he was an actual professor of archaeology. They could have easily made Yearling an intellectual who helps with a growing settlement. The setting and such would be the inspiration for her DD novels, which in turn inspire the growth of the settlement like you said.
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:iconbyter75:
byter75 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013
There's a whole slew of ideas we could have about her character. I didn't say it was a random hut, but rather a house in a hamlet.
I think again you are thinking too closed mindedly. One doesn't have to live in or around things that are similar to what they write about. No one has lived in Narnia, or Middle Earth or in the Harry Potter universe. But that doesn't stop creators sitting at home with their typewriters or whatever making these worlds a reality. Same for A.K.Yearling, she doesn't have to had lived those experiences to write about them, that actually undercuts what being creative is all about!
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:icongogogadgethat:
Gogogadgethat Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013
You don't seem to understand what flanderization means Byter. TV tropes officially defines the term as "The act of taking a single (often minor) action or trait of a character within a work and exaggerating it more and more over time until it completely consumes the character. Most always, the trait/action becomes completely outlandish and it becomes their defining characteristic." We've seen Rainbow go into fangirl mode before. In the Best Night Ever and Wonderbolt Academy, she nearly freaks out when she gets to hang with the Wonderbolts.

Actual Flanderization would be if she spent every waking moment of an episode thinking about how awesome the Wonderbolts (or Daring do) are and doing nothing else. Also, there was no reason to think in any previous episodes that Daring Do might not be a real character. And if she was indeed without fault or risk, she wouldn't have accepted Rainbow's help at the end of the episode.
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:iconbyter75:
byter75 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013
Federalization (to apply best) requires that it be a trait that we've seen before be taken to extremes. You do agree with this "We've seen Rainbow go into fangirl mode before. In the Best Night Ever and Wonderbolt Academy, she nearly freaks out when she gets to hang with the Wonderbolts.". 

I don't think 'actual' Flanderization can only be seen when it's the most extreme case of one attribute being displayed for an entire episode.
As per your definition it is: "exaggerating it more and more over time". This means that all one has to show is that it's being exaggerated (compared to the past) to show it's being flanderized, to prove this term we don't need such a preposterous amount of evidence.
But as per:"the trait/action becomes completely outlandish and it becomes their defining characteristic." I do also think that this attribute is fairly characteristic for Dash this episode, so one could argue that the end case defined in that definition has also taken place in some form.
I therefore do not see how I don't understand the term flanderization. I may not have as strict criteria as you for using that term, but that doesn't demean my appropriate usage and meaning of the term.

There is reason to think Daring Doo wasn't a real person, because she was depicted as a fictional character in the show. Her exploits and setting were beyond that of what we've see in Equestria, further reinforcing the idea that this was a fantastical, fiction setting. Her appearance so closely resembled Dash because it was (seemingly) Dash reading and projecting herself into the experience. The show may have not outlawed Daring Doo or Harry Potter being real. Generally we know that extraordinary fictional settings are not usually completely real, which in this case strains our disbelief when it does turn out to be true.
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:iconthunderflare47:
Thunderflare47 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013
Yeah, Rainbow Dash has never fangirled in any episode before.  "Sonic Rainboom" and "Best Night Ever" never happen in your little world.  Rainbow's behavior in this episode falls perfectly in line with her already established personality and makes it deeper by making her doubt her own abilities for once.  Maybe before declaring the character flanderized, you should actually UNDERSTAND the character in question.

You also don't seem to know what "flanderization" means.  Put simply, it is the simplification of a character over time.  When a character expresses different emotions and traits from before, that is called "character development".  It is the polar opposite of flanderization.  Rainbow Dash expresses more complexity in this episode, spending some time as a fangirl, while letting it fuel her self-doubt, and still retaining her gung-ho tendency to rush into a problem without thinking.

And you can't believe that Daring Do is a canon character?  You have no problem with Discord's very existence.  Discord has infinate power for no adiquately explained reason, is the embodiment of chaos but somehow still able to show signs of order (a personality and being able to have a friend for example), and having no backstory despite being in five episodes already.  But an arciologist that also knows martial arts, first aid, and has a characteristic wit?  I mean, that would be as ridiculous as a weather controlling Pegasus that's a black belt in karate, can fly 3 km a second, and can power an ancient magical artifact.  Double your standard, double your fun!

My advice: stop.  Now.  Forever.  You have nothing of merit to contribute and everything you had to say was completely absurd and rife with double standards.  You can rage if you want, but that will not change the fact that this review is garbage.  It would be best for you to accept your errors and learn from them, otherwise you'll just repeat them, like you currently are doing.  I looked at some of your previous reviews and found all the same mistakes in every one I checked.
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:iconbyter75:
byter75 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013
I didn't say that she hadn't fangirled, my supposed 'little world' is a product of you imagining what I am saying to be something simpler or different from what I am saying.
To say it is perfect, suggests that this episode is the ideal. Is this so? Can you establish how you established this as the ideal?
Why do you think I haven't understood the character in question? As above, you seem to be jumping to erroneous conclusions about my arguments.

Actually, according to TVtropes: tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php…
Flanderization-"The act of taking a single (often minor) action or trait of a character within a work and exaggerating it more and more over time until it completely consumes the character. Most always, the trait/action becomes completely outlandish and it becomes their defining characteristic. "
It isn't just simplification, it's a type of simplification via exaggeration, and according to your definition of 'character development' a character could be developed & flanderized (as is the case here). Also according to your definition of "character development" it doesn't mean it is complex, someone acting differently isn't complexity, it's someone acting differently.

I didn't say I didn't believe it, I think you are reading my rhetoric and jumping to the most polarized position on it. I said it strains my suspension of disbelief, something being strained doesn't automatically mean it fails or holds true, a bridge might be strained by cars going over it but that doesn't mean its collapsed or fine forever.
I didn't bring up Discord here and I do have those problems. You wish to show I have a double standard when all you've just shown is that I am consistent. But you are still projecting so hard onto myself that you could show power point presentations, so much so that you made up points I agree with to show something I disagree with.

I am not going to take your advice.
You have either accused me of things I have not argued or for hypocrisy that is ironically actually a case for consistency (despite it not being a part of this review).
All I see is a raging angry person. Who thinks that their personal definitions and methods of interpretation supersede my own, even when reading 'my' reviews.
If you see actual fault in my reviews that aren't based on red herrings or exaggerated straw men and present them in a civil way, I maybe more open to your criticisms. If you have an alternate form of interpretation then write your own review and link me to it, so I can weight it on my own terms.
However if you continue to deliberately distort the information and arguments of others to make them seem weaker and wrong, that isn't the fault of those being attacked, but rather those who are doing the distortions. I therefore cannot account for the faults you are seeing currently, as they are probably driven by intense, irrational emotional reaction to my work due to the deposition I hold towards a certain show I think you are a fan of.

Have a pleasant day.
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